What the H is Wrong with Evangelicalism?


There have been lots of conversations recently drawing out strong evangelical statements and, in the process, revealing exactly what might be wrong with the whole darn thing.And let me say straight away, I consider myself an evangelical. I know there are some who would question that identity, but that is precisely the point. Something has gone awry in the conversation around evangelical passion, mission, and faithfulness when it begins to mirror the polarizing, culture-war conversation in … [Read more...]

Some Questions About the Gay Cake


By now, everyone's aware of the latest culture war click-frenzy, which we can all officially dub Arizona Cakegate, regarding a bill in the Grand Canyon State that gives business owners (especially those of the wedding cake or crappy DJ variety) the overt right to deny service to gay couples.And we're all aware of the predictable response from conservative Christian culture warriors, to the tune of chalking up wins for religious freedom if the bill should survive veto (despite sensible … [Read more...]

Talking About My #Dexter Book on Newsworthy with Norsworthy


Today, I had the opportunity to talk with Luke Norsworthy on his podcast about my book, Nothing but the Blood: The Gospel According to Dexter. Have a listen: … [Read more...]

The Bible is NOT Inerrant (But It IS Eschatological)


Growing up, I was taught to believe - firmly, absolutely - that the Bible is God's truth.While my Charismatic family didn't quite put it in these words, what they meant was that the Bible is inerrant. Without error in the original autographs. Verbally and plenarily inspired such that every word of it is, in fact, the Word of God. This, after all, is the conservative evangelical bedrock, and my family were conservative evangelicals (even though they spiced it up with Jesus-Movement, … [Read more...]

A V-Day Proposal


Valentine's Day is the day in Christian culture when people post photos of their "honey" on "date night" or opine about true (Christian married) love on their blogs or share stuff about the REAL St. Valentine or otherwise act kind of obnoxious about having the right kind of romantic relationship and the right kind of faith.It's our own version of the Hallmark holiday that is careful to moralize or educate while "celebrating."But I have a proposal.What if, instead of being so … [Read more...]

Why We Sometimes Need to Say “Cult”


After my post on Monday went a little bit viral, I received quite a bit of feedback along the lines of, "Be careful about using the 'cult' word - that's a big accusation."And I get it. Those outside the church who have interest in dogging the church have been prone to promiscuously throw "cult" at any expression they don't particularly like or understand. If it's a new church that looks or feels different from traditional churches - cult! If people meet in a home instead of a historic church … [Read more...]

What Furtick’s Millions (& the “We Serve a Lead Pastor” Mantra) Might Mean


In the heart of the Bible belt, Steven Furtick's new-school Southern Baptist Elevation Church continues to boom - and make media waves.The latest hits have come in the form of a leaked infographic from the church listing 30 reasons why it's the best place to work, and yet another local news story about Furtick's million dollar home and how that connects to his salary and book sales.To be honest, none of this is surprising in the least, as it smacks of Southern prosperity theology and … [Read more...]

What Moses Might Say to the United Methodist LGBT Advocate


Today after church there was a quick town meeting about the current trials vexing the United Methodist denomination.I was impressed by the demonstration of maturity from members as they shared their views and convictions. There was passion, but it was from a general posture of humility and openness. As Pastor Mark shared his hope for a "third way" beyond conservative and liberal warring in the denomination (and in local churches), there seemed to be glimmers of that very thing among the … [Read more...]

On Quitting Things…& Joining the Patheos Progressive Christian Channel

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At the end of December, I posted my new year's resolution: To quit the Progressive Christian Internet in 2014. The post generated a good deal of conversation, which was surprising since it felt a little more like a personal rant, a brief window into an internal gut-decision that I was making and thought very few people would understand. I posted it at like 1AM. Thought no one would even read it, honestly.But people did read it, and people reacted strongly. I learned from the exchange and … [Read more...]